Orthodoxy / Rabbis

“…it is, I think, the biggest, the one most central to the debates within Orthodoxy today, and the most personal”

It is impossible to credit the claim that it doesn’t matter at all to the content of the halakhic system that those admitted into the tent of Torah, those with a seat at the table, those with a voice in the conversation, have been exclusively male. What does it mean that endless deliberations about women’s bodies, their processes, their effluvia have only and ever been engaged in by men who never inhabited those bodies, never experienced those processes, never checked those effluvia and brought their questions to a Rabbi? What does it mean, more, that those deliberations were engaged in by men who didn’t see women as intellectual peers; equal inheritors of, deliberators about, or transmitters of the tradition? (This is not the only question of authority that is implicated here, but it is, I think, the biggest, the one most central to the debates within Orthodoxy today, and the most personal.)

Rivka Press Schwartz, “What Are We So Afraid Of?: The Challenge of Torah U’Madda for Our Time”, Tacit Knowledge (5 January 2017) [https://rpschwartz.com/2017/01/05/what-are-we-so-afraid-of-the-challenge-of-torah-umadda-for-our-time]